The Facts About Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Knee arthroscopy is a commonly performed surgical procedure in which the inside of the joint is visualized with the aid of a small camera. This gives the surgeon a clear view of the entire joint, helping to both diagnose and treat knee problems in a minimally invasive fashion.

There are a variety of reasons why knee arthroscopy may be recommended. Leading knee surgeon, Dr. Stephen Nicholas, specializes in performing arthroscopic knee surgery for a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. Below is a quick overview of how the procedure is performed, its benefits and what recovery entails.

 

What is arthroscopic knee surgery?

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows a surgeon to operate on the knee without the use of a large incision or “opening it up.” During the surgery, several small incisions are made in the knee, rather than one large one. Each small incision allows a camera or a surgical tool to be inserted into the joint, enabling the surgeon to repair the injury with targeted precision.

 

When is knee arthroscopy recommended?

Knee arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat numerous knee conditions. Some reasons for undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery include:

  • Meniscus repair or removal if the meniscus is torn
  • Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) after a tear
  • Correction of patellar (kneecap) misalignment
  • Reconstruction of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) after a tear
  • Removal damaged cartilage from the knee joint
  • Repair or grafting of small cartilage defects
  • Assessment and repair of various sports injuries
  • Treatment of mild arthritis
  • Removal of bone fragments or other loose bodies
  • Removal of the synovium (the joint joint lining) in cases where it is diseased

In some cases, conservative treatments and traditional knee surgery may still be the preferred treatment options. However, when knee arthroscopy is an appropriate treatment choice, it can offer numerous benefits.

 

What are the benefits of knee arthroscopy?

Because it’s minimally invasive, knee arthroscopy has many potential advantages over traditional surgical methods. These benefits include:

  • Less bleeding
  • Less trauma to the soft tissues, such as muscles and ligaments
  • Less scarring
  • Reduced chances of infection
  • Less post-surgical pain
  • Shorter recovery period
  • Earlier mobilization following surgery
  • Faster and less painful rehabilitation

 

What can I expect in recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery?

Arthroscopic knee surgery is a less extensive procedure than traditional surgery, so patients are usually able to return to normal day-to-day activities relatively quickly. Although mobility is limited for the first few days, most people go home the same day as the surgery.

If you undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, you may require ice, pain medication, or other pain management for the first few days, but most people return to work in about a week and start physical therapy shortly thereafter. A full recovery and return to performing physically strenuous activities can take anywhere from one to 6 months depending on the procedure performed.

 

Where can I find a top knee arthroscopy surgeon in NYC?

If you’re faced with knee surgery as a possible option, a consultation with a top knee specialist is essential. An orthopedic surgeon can help you decide whether minimally invasive knee surgery is the best solution for you. And, if knee arthroscopy is recommended, a top arthroscopic knee surgeon is the best person to perform your procedure – ensuring that you receive the most technical precision during treatment and best surgical outcome.

Dr. Stephen Nicholas, founder of NY Orthopedics, is a fellowship-trained sports medicine physician with more than twenty years of experience in performing the latest knee repair surgeries, including knee arthroscopy. If you’re facing the possibility of knee surgery, request a consultation with Dr. Nicholas today to learn more about your treatment options.

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Dr. Jose Rodriguez is no longer practicing at New York Orthopedics as of March 31, 2017. For a full list of our doctors, please visit this page.